My partial lunar eclipse

July 16 2019. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and the night of a partial lunar eclipse. This is cool stuff! But as the day progresses, I more and more convince myself that I should pass the lunar eclipse. The forecast said cloudy anyway. In the evening the clouds break and I still don’t bother because I wouldn’t be able to see much in the city anyway. It’s 10:45PM and I start watching part 2 of Chasing The Moon. Well, my brain thinks I’m watching, but I’m probably partially asleep. Then, the phone rings. What the hell? I pick up and it’s my partner who is currently in the south of France, visiting her mother. Is it worth watching the eclipse, because right now she’s being eaten alive by mosquitoes. I tell her it should be. And I decide to go outside anyway.

partial lunar eclipse

How I saw the partial lunar eclipse 16 July 2019. Picture by Mel Marcik

The train station

I live next to a small train station. It’s higher than the streets so logically if I stand on the platform, I should be able to see the moon. Just like the total lunar eclipse which I watched there in the freezing cold in the early morning. I get up on the platform and just above the former station hall, now pub, and above the highway that runs parallel to the tracks, I can see the partial lunar eclipse. She doesn’t have a red glow like I expected. Behind me a woman sits on a bench waiting for her train. Another man comes on the platform, it look like he is going to stand close to me but I guess my annoyed aura scares him off.

I stare at the moon, and sometimes at the phone, being in contact with my partner far away. My eyes start to hurt. The station is very bright, and I have the squint between the lights to see the moon. The platform is more lit than my very own living room. I can hear the cars on the highway. I hear the cars down on the street below. A tram passes. I hear people laugh. At the other platform a man is making a phone call and walks up and down the platform. More laughter downstairs. Then the train arrives and the people get in, some people get out. The conductor looks at me and asks me if I join the train. I shake my head, thank him. He nods, blows his whistle and the train takes off.

The Milky Way

I sit down on the bench and continue to stare at the moon. I pick up my phone and look at my Sky 3D app. According to the map I’m looking straight at the Milky Way. All I see is an overly lit platform, the train from the opposite direction arriving, the noise shields of the highway. I can see the moon partial blocked by the sun. I can actually see Jupiter. My partner says she sees Jupiter too and I wave at Jupiter. I don’t tell her this. We exchange some spiritual tinted messages. Actually, I complain about the noise and that I can’t see the Milky Way. But what I mean was, I love this city but I need space. And quiet.

The plan

I sit on the bench a bit longer and decide to head back home. In the South of France my partner already went to bed. I arrive home to a paused documentary and I check how many MBs I have left on my data plan and I decide I watch this part tomorrow during my commute which I start on that very same platform. Then I pick up my laptop and write, I write this down. Because I know I can accomplish things, and I can do awesome things ans be good at the things I love doing. If only I wasn’t so lazy. I just want to stop being lazy. So I write this now and not tomorrow or later this week. Or never.

But what I really want is to live in a place where it’s actually worth it to look up. To actually see the stars and to enjoy the wonders of space without trams ringing, cars rushing by and people laughing in the streets. I want to look up at the stars and be completely taken by the moment, to be at peace. To breath fresh air and hear an owl in the distance. Or maybe an elk. To look up while it’s pitch dark and when the season comes to see auroras. The city is wearing me out. But I still love this city. I will leave this city some day but only to have that place in space. I know I can accomplish things and I sure will accomplish this thing. The partial lunar eclipse just confirmed this.

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